WPP Selling 25% Stake In Chime To Providence Equity Partners
WPP is selling its stake in sports marketing agency Chime to "help cut its hefty debt pile," according to Ben Woods of the LONDON TIMES. WPP is "expected to offload the 25% holding" for $63.35M to Providence Equity Partners, which "already owns 75%" of Chime. The move is the "latest step in a dramatic overhaul" under WPP CEO Mark Read, who succeeded Martin Sorrell in September '18. WPP has raised $1.39B since the start of last year by "selling fringe businesses." The Chime deal will go toward "paying down debt," which stood at $5.07B in December (LONDON TIMES, 6/30). The FINANCIAL TIMES' Patricia Nilsson notes the deal valued Chime at $276.2M, with WPP making $68.92M "plus 'potential additional amounts' based on the future value of the company." The figure is "significantly lower" than the $473.85M that WPP and Providence paid for Chime in '15 (FT.com, 7/1).